Gottlieb's achievement would be notable if it had stopped with the gardening, but the more Gottlieb got into native horticulture, the more she learned about the impact of conventional gardening on Western watersheds and the cataclysmic effects for wildlife. A year ago, she and her husband opened the G2 Gallery in Venice. Dedicated to environmental photography, the proceeds of print sales go to a number of causes, including the Theodore Payne Payne Foundation for Wildflowers and Native Plants, Friends of Ballona Wetlands, Heal the Bay and the California Native Plant Society. She regrets that these new projects take her from her garden. But as a seasoned native gardener, she knows half the point of native gardens is that, once in, they really don't need much intervention. Emily Green's column on low-water gardening appears weekly on the L.A. at Home blog. She also blogs on water issues at www.chanceofrain.com.
Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times
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